THE HEART THROB: Actor and author William McInnes.

Aussie actor McInnes 'gone down the river of life'

The multi-talented William McInnes has a particularly Australian take on ageing - he's sending it up and out to sea!

SERIOUSLY, Australian film and television actor and author William McInnes makes and takes a very good joke. After recently re-watching "Dangerous Remedy" which featured his brilliant portrayal of a very nasty, corrupt Victorian cop, you could think otherwise.

That particular show is about four years old, but I have to say that his more recent role as the selfish Matt Tivolli in The Time Our Lives, kept up the mean theme.

Still, as a journalist I'm rather fond of like-minded people and I couldn't resist him as the feckless, thoughtful, sort of sensitive journalist in SeaChange, the huge success of this serial, which ended 17 years ago, meant I wasn't alone.

Yes, William McInnes has been around a while. He's 53 this year and with a self-effacing sense of humour accepts that his body has undergone certain changes.

William McInnes with one of his books.
William McInnes with one of his books. Alistair Brightman

"You can't hide what you are," he says with a tinge of bravado.

McInnes is a big fellow - 6ft 3" and solid, he had the sort of build that has a propensity to grow larger with age...

"I'm not getting into a wetsuit these days, I'm as big as a Zeppelin," he laughs.

And no matter what anyone says, he's not going the way of the facelift.

Even when he runs into a couple of funsters at one his book signing events.

"What happened to you," one lady asked the author.

"You used to be so good looking."

"Well, I've gone down the river of life," he replies.

Then, the lady's mum chimes in:

"Well you've gone right out to sea," she retorts.

He liked their straight up sense of humour, later on, he tells me, they all ended up sharing a cup of tea.

This small encounter, speaks volumes for his humour and also his appreciation of the authentic self.

As one of Australia's most successful actors, he hasn't got any tickets on his self.

And that's the sort of Aussie vernacular he uses to explain the world.

He believes he gained sage advice from one of his lecturers at acting school.

"He said to remember that acting was important, you were not."

The stars of the telemovie Dangerous Remedy, from left, Maeve Dermody, Jeremy Sims, Susie Porter and William McInnes.
The stars of the telemovie Dangerous Remedy, from left, Maeve Dermody, Jeremy Sims, Susie Porter and William McInnes. ABC TV

McInnes has remembered that, anyway he reckons you wouldn't last long, if you weren't the real deal.

"You can tell a pompous arse a mile away," he says.

As a tail-end baby boomer, McInnes has chronicled growing up in Australia during the 60s and 70s. His books paint the backyard, the classroom, the dad who ran as the local labor candidate along with the Queensland family life that included his four siblings. The books are popular, probably because of their honesty and down-to earth humour. For many they mirror their own lives.

Besides, writing, acting and family life, McInnes says he takes an interest in civic life, because you get politicians you deserve and sometimes that can end up being a load of "clowns running the show."

However, he acknowledges that hard work and discipline are qualities behind a good politician, many of whom work long, hard hours and all in all Australia is a good country. Yet, he recognises the necessity for every person to have access to health and education and knows that Australia is not perfect.

"But we haven't got a lot to complain about," he says.

In 2012, McInnes lost his film maker wife Sarah Watts to breast cancer. These days he says he and the kids, now young adults, stick to an annual holiday as the time process their loss and make more memories,

"It's a time when we can hunker down together," he said."

When you lose a mother, a wife, those are the moments you can be yourselves and have fun.

In terms of religion, he coins himself a "New Testament Lapsarian."

But basically, his approach on life is very simple.

"Don't take yourself too seriously."


William McInnes (will join writer and TV personality Anna Daniels and singer Jeunae Rogers at Behind Queensland's Words, Noosa's 2017 Writers Festival and Queensland Day celebration on 10 June 2017.

When: Saturday 10 June 2017

Where: Noosa Library, Wallace Park, Wallace Drive, Noosaville

Price: Free

Phone: 07 5329 6555